Diwali, the festival of lights, was celebrated across Punjab and Haryana on Monday with great fervor and enthusiasm.
Devotees queued up at temples and gurudwaras across Punjab and Haryana, including Chandigarh to worship their gurus and deities.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann along with his wife Gurpreet Kaur offered prayers at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali. He also bought some diyas from a roadside vendor.
Cities across the two states were lit up with candles, diyas (earthen lamps) and electric lights as people went round each other’s houses and exchanged sweets and gifts.
Everywhere, people thronged markets for last-minute shopping as shopkeepers selling Diwali items and sweets did a brisk business.
To avoid any untoward incident, security has been beefed up across the two states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, especially in and around vital locations, markets and places of worship, officials said.
In Amritsar, the Golden Temple, the holy Sikh temple, glittered with gold and aesthetically wrapped electric lamps. The temple witnessed a huge rush of devotees which started in the early hours of the morning and remained uninterrupted till the evening.
A ‘Langar’ (community kitchen) arrangements were made for the devotees.
‘Bandi Chhor Divas’, the festival coinciding with Diwali, was also celebrated across Punjab.
The festival commemorates the historic release of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, along with 52 kings, from Mughal imprisonment in 1620.
According to historical records, after his release, Guru Hargobind went straight to the Golden Temple, as people welcomed his release by lighting up the entire city with diyas.
The Punjab government has allowed a two-hour window from 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali. while Haryana government allowed only green crackers in the state.
Chandigarh has allowed the use of green crackers on Diwali.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was automatically generated from a syndicated source.)